This April, I’ve been participating in Camp Nanowrimo. During camp you can set yourself the writing goal that fits for you, and have support from other participants (on the forum, or by joining a cabin). I’ve participated before, and I’ve always had fun with it. It’s nice to feel that extra pressure to write while not being under the enormous pressure of the standard 50.000 words of Novembers Nanowrimo. Last July, camp really helped me with writing a first draft.
This april, though, I’ve struggled. From the very beginning I had difficulty settling on a project. Even when I thought I had a manageable project and goal set for the month, I’ve had trouble keeping up.
I have been stressing with school, but nothing unmanageable. I haven’t had complete freedom to write, but nobody ever does. I think what has happened is that I have let the stress of everything prevent me from really doing much of anything. Even now I should really be writing a paper. Funny how I only take time to return to my blog when I’m running from all my other responsibilities.
Sitting down, taking a few breaths and managing my tasks shouldn’t be such a difficult thing to do, and I suppose I have managed in the past. But now, I find it difficult. I’m beginning to think I’ll just have to adjust my writing goal and figure out how I can do the bare minimum in all my tasks. Just until I can get through this.
It feels… Weak? Like a loss. But then, I haven’t truly lost anything. I still have more words than I did before the month began, and I don’t actually have to give my all at school to get trough. Truth is that if I take this minor setback, I can still make it trough this having still accomplished something.
Making decisions like this, I’m beginning to realise, is part of being a responsible artist. No matter what you do: visual arts, writing, acting, music… anything really. You have to be kind to yourself and reign in yourself. I’m sure we could all drive ourselves into an early grave working hard, and artists have done for a long time. But surely you can also try to take care of yourself. Keep your ego and your longing for brilliance back, if only a little, so you don’t burn your candle at both ends. That way you’ll be able to do more in the future.